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For information on State Natural Areas, contact:
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Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program Woodland Dunes (No. 252)

Woodland Dunes

Photo by Josh Mayer


Overview

Location

At Woodland Dunes Nature Center, Manitowoc County. T19N-R24E, Sections 2, 3, 10. 387 acres.

Description

Description

Woodland Dunes features a low area of ridge and swale topography near Lake Michigan, similar to that at Point Beach State Forest a few miles to the north. The series of narrow, parallel sand ridges represent former beach lines of Lake Michigan as water levels fell during post-glacial times. The ridges are separated by perennially wet swales. About two-thirds of the ridges are timbered with aspen, white birch, and red maple; the remaining third support a mature forest of yellow birch, beech, hemlock, and white pine. The understory contains elements typical of northern mesic forest, including shining club-moss, spinulose wood fern, American starfower, naked miterwort, and yellow-blue-bead-lily. Ash, elm, and alder dominate the swales with occasional patches of dogwood, willow, and sedges. White cedar, with occasional tamarack, is also found in the swales and on the ridge edges. Sweet colt’s-foot (Petasites sagittatus), a threatened plant species, is found here in small numbers. Woodland Dunes, with its variety of habitats and proximity to Lake Michigan, is used by a great diversity of birds. Shorebirds utilize a nearby river marsh and often forage in adjacent farm fields. Songbirds, especially warblers and thrushes, make use of the forested portions of the dunes during migration. Southern bird species such as hooded warbler, blue-gray gnatcatcher, and white-eyed vireo are at the northern edge of their range here. The natural area is an excellent place to view all of Wisconsin’s raptors during their fall migration down the lakeshore. Woodland Dunes is owned and managed by Woodland Dunes Nature Center and was designated a State Natural Area in 1992.

Access

Driving directions

From the junction of State Highways 42 and 310 in Two Rivers, go west on 310 about 1.2 miles to Woodland Dunes Nature Center on the north side of the road. Trailheads are located at the nature center and off Goodwin Road. Pick up a trail guide at the office.

Ownership

Woodland Dunes is owned by:

  • Woodland Dunes Nature Center

Maps

The DNR's state natural areas program is comprised of lands owned by the state, private conservation organizations, municipalities, other governmental agencies, educational institutions and private individuals. While the majority of SNAs are open to the public, access may vary according to individual ownership policies. Public use restrictions may apply due to public safety, or to protect endangered or threatened species or unique natural features. Lands may be temporarily closed due to specific management activities. Users are encouraged to contact the landowner for more specific details.

The data shown on these maps have been obtained from various sources, and are of varying age, reliability, and resolution. The data may contain errors or omissions and should not be interpreted as a legal representation of legal ownership boundaries.

Recreation

Very few State Natural Areas have public facilities, but nearly all are open for a variety of recreational activities as indicated below. Generally, there are no picnic areas, restrooms, or other developments. Parking lots or designated parking areas are noted on individual SNA pages and maps. Trails, if present, are typically undesignated footpaths. If a developed trail is present, it will normally be noted on the SNA map and/or under the "Access" tab. A compass and topographic map or a GPS unit are useful tools for exploring larger, isolated SNAs.

Non-DNR lands

Hunting and trapping

This is a non-DNR owned SNA: Opportunities for hunting and trapping depend on the land owner. Please contact them directly to find out about their rules for hunting and trapping. You can find a link to other owner websites under the "Resource links" heading above. More details regarding allowable uses of this non-DNR owned SNA may be posted, if available, under the "Access" tab above.

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Other activities

Other allowable activities such as - but not limited to camping, geocaching and bicycling are determined by the landowner. Please contact them directly or visit their websites for details.

Last revised: Thursday, October 19, 2017